Motion detection in goldfish investigated with the optomotor response is "color blind"

Vision Res. 1996 Dec;36(24):4025-34. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6989(96)00149-6.


The action spectrum of the optomotor response in goldfish was measured to investigate which of the four cone types involved in color vision contributes to motion detection. In the dark-adapted state, the action spectrum showed a single maximum in the range of 500-520 nm, and resembled the rod spectral sensitivity function. Surprisingly, the action spectrum measured in the light-adapted state also revealed a single maximum only, located in the long wavelength range between 620 and 660 nm. A comparison with spectral sensitivity functions of the four cone types suggests that motion detection is dominated by the L-cone type. Using a two colored, "red-green" cylinder illuminated with two monochromatic lights separately adjustable in intensity, it could be shown that motion vision is "color-blind": the optomotor response disappeared whenever "isoluminant" red and green stripes were offered. Under this condition, calculations revealed that the L-cones were only slightly modulated by the "red-green" stimulus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Ocular / physiology
  • Animals
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Dark Adaptation / physiology
  • Goldfish / physiology*
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*